In Penumbra, Kate Behrensʼ third collection, the poems are linked by themes of dislocation and heredity. If the dead are ever-present here, so is love: the absence of, rewards and longing for it, the endurance and effort of it.
We are led from the poetʼs bohemian childhood to the complex grief, in middle age, that followed the death of her painter father, and on to individual animals, people, and even trees that are differently uprooted or burdened. Everything is haunted here, but the boundaries of death and love are permeable, nature full of revelation.
‘These are poems with huge scope. They speak personal lament, love, whilst looking up also to wide horizons of thought, and exposing the “secret doings” of the world. They are poems alive with surprising images, unexpected turns. This is a very achieved and compelling collection’ – Steven Matthews
Responses to Man with Bombe Alaska (2016):
ʽ… the lines move with hallucinatory clarity, the syntax is unexpected, but break by break the poem implies an ever-expanding context. This is the language of poetry: lines that might never be spoken, but which have been wrought until they are more accessible, more natural, than daily speech’ – Dennis Nurkse
ʽ… will reward repeated readings and resonate long after the page is turnedʼ – PBS Bulletin
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